Here is to hoping that everyone around the National Hockey League enjoyed the festivities of the All-Star break. The players had a chance to bond and they also had the pleasure of entertaining the fans all weekend long. Below is a recap of what happened over the three-day break in Columbus:
*Our own Patrice Bergeron recorded a goal and four assists in the game, leading to a Team Toews victory. He was selected ninth by the Chicago Blackhawks captain and participated in several of the competitions on Saturday night. Very entertaining stuff.
Now that the week-long layoff is over, the Boston Bruins were ready to resume their schedule and continue their ascension in the Eastern Conference. They took on the New York Islanders on Thursday, a night that will be eternally remembered in B's nation.
It has been rumored that the Isles will be moving to Brooklyn, potentially making this the final time the Bruins would travel to the Nassau Coliseum. As one of the most historic buildings in sports history, the "other" New York team will miss the arena.
As emotional as it was, the Bruins were focused on getting the two points on this night.
The Isles squeaked out a 3-2 victory in the last meeting, but the Bruins were eager to stop the second-place team in the Eastern Conference...even with John Tavares in the lineup. However, Kyle Okposo (second on the team in points) was absent for the Islanders due to an upper-body injury.
With the heavy rest, the Bruins sent out the same full lineup that they did before the break...and they came out strong. The Bruins smothered the Islanders and prevented them from creating any fast-break opportunities on Tuukka Rask, the bread and butter of that team. The B's popped in two goals (Reilly Smith and Bergeron on the power play) after some early line changes. Boston did not miss a beat.
In the second period, it was back and forth in every sense of the phrase. New York had the better scoring chances and showcased the prolific offense that the team is known for, but Boston played harder along the boards. A couple of sloppy turnovers and lazy defensive plays by the B's led to two goals by the Islanders. However, Kevan Miller put the Bruins back on top with three seconds left in the period by slapping home his first goal in 21 games.
The final 20 minutes belonged to the Black and Gold. Rask stopped every shot he faced in the third period (43 total saves for the game) and the defense held strong. The Bruins did end up adding two more goals, but turned out to be unnecessary. The B's start the second half of the season off on the right foot, knocking off the Islanders by a final score of 5-2.
The Bruins will return home on Saturday night for their next game. They will take on the Los Angeles Kings.
Gold Star: Reilly Smith...He had a goal, two assists, a plus-three rating, and a bloody lip. That equates to a typical game for a Bruin.
Black Star: Loui Eriksson...Wow, he just could not help himself in this game. His poor play directly led to the second period goals allowed by the team. This was not a great night for him.
Game Forty-Nine Box Score